By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
As Tom Curran writes, calling Detroit's Ndamukong Suh a dirty player is popular these days.
His villain status was affirmed in New England after the Patriots' 34-10 loss to the Lions Saturday night. In the second quarter, Suh threw a right cross at Logan Mankins after the guard was whistled for grabbing Lawrence Jackson's face mask. The scrum was broken up, but nothing was called against the free-swinging Detroit tackle.
New England is victimized; Suh is vilified.
But that's just the reaction on one side of the ring. The Lions have their own opinions on who's to blame.
"Mankins is a dirty expletive," Jackson said in the Detroit Free Press. "That's all. He's dirty. I kind of called him out on it. Things got a little rough."
To Jackson, Mankins' attitude points to a disparity in NFL officiating. His solution? Show solidarity by doling out whatever justice the referees don't or won't.
"It seems like defense is always on the short end of the stick in the league," Jackson said. "The offense gets away with a lot of stuff, especially the offensive line; 95 of it doesn't get called.
"And stuff like this, I mean, you don't let anybody mess with your brothers. It was nothing intentional, but we've got to stay together. That's all."
Mankins was unperturbed in the Patriots locker room Tuesday. He said he doesn't consider Suh to be a dirty player and would have reacted similarly in defense of a teammate. Jackson's comment likewise rolled off his hulking shoulders.
"That's okay," Mankins said. "Everyone has their own opinions."